After recording ‘Carolus Rex’, the 4 founding members of Sabaton decided to leave and created a new band ‘Civil War’.  They decided on the same themes of History and War and added vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson to spice things up.

Their first EP was released in 2012 titled ‘Rome is Falling’ then in 2013 the first album ‘The Kkiller Angels’ received smashing reviews. Now in 2015 ‘Gods and Generals’ and in all honestly I haven’t heard these guys before so I’m hoping I’m in for a treat…

It’s a patriotic start with ‘War Of The World,’ of course its cheesy but still. It was a nice surprise not hearing Joakim of Sabaton singin, the music sounds very similar However, you have a cracking power metal vocalist in Nils Patrik Johansson (Astral Doors) with his ball squeezing high pitched wailing.  ‘Bay of Pigs’ however, you’ll find no such ball tomfoolery! The testosterone fuelled track oozes coolness with its thumpy bass lines and fist thumping vocals which sound like Biff Byford on a very good day.

If there’s one that stands out for me it has to be ‘Braveheart’. The vocals beautifully powerful, the track feels very theatrical but also theres the marching drums and the guitars! Amazing. If you were only going to have a quick listen then this would be the one to put on. ‘Mad Piper’ again is another theatrical gem.

‘USS Monitor’ unfortunately, to me sounds way too similar to Sabaton, but luckily, with ‘Tears of the North’ steers clear of that and brings a heartfelt ballad to the table. OK, there’s still some military style drumming but it’s an acceptable amount. The guitar solo in this one may be simple but effective no end. Half way through this track and you’ll be waving your lighter in their air!

The bouncy drums get my head swaying immediately with ‘Back to Iwo Jima’ and its quite clear that, even though I’m a Sabaton Fan, this chap has a much better voice and it’s a lot easier to listen to. Sorry Sabaton!

‘Schindler’s Ark’ isn’t the best track on the album but the lyrics including “I don’t know which day I will die, tell me why the strong doesn’t have to pay”  are powerful stuff as if shown through a victim of the Nazi times saved by Schindler..

Ending with ‘Gods and Generals’, which I’ll be honest, I didn’t like much. It seemed too rushed and a bit of a mess. Even the vocals couldn’t save it.

To be fair though, this album, considering it’s only their second since they got together in 2012 is quite brilliant. Definitely a lot of talent between the lot of them. I can see them playing more of all the major festivals this summer!

On another note, I’m dying to know why they left Sabaton, just a thought?

(7/10 Charlene Rance)